I thought I’d share with you some of the essentials in our everyday family life – they aren’t glamorous, or particularly exciting (unless you get a thrill out of Swiss Army Knives *pretty sure my hubby does*) but they are the things that help our home run that little bit smoother and make our days a little easier, a little happier and a little more fun! One thing I haven’t included is my organiser as I haven’t got one this year yet boohoo!
Coffee! Gimme all the coffee… no seriously step away from the coffee and nobody will get harmed 😉 I am NOT a morning person and the thought of having to do the breakfast club school run before having a hot cup of the caffeinated stuff brings me out in a cold sweat. I do love my coffee – we switched from instant to a french press coffee a couple of years back and I love it. Although I recently tried a friend’s aeropress and loved that so am now wishing for one of those too! I’m thinking of upgrading our cafetiere to something bigger *and fancier* like this one – because we use it so much I think it’d be worthwhile investing in one that looks good too…
Water and my Brita Fill and Go Bottle – I realised a while back that I really don’t drink anywhere near enough water and so I decided to start using the Brita Fill and Go Bottle – it’s a really handy reusable water bottle that filters water whilst you drink – meaning you really do just have to ‘fill and go’ – I am trying to make a point of keeping mine with me constantly so that I can increase my water intake. I also feel so much better not buying plastic bottles whilst out; this is a lot more eco-friendly. Scott tracks his water intake using the Fitbit app and so is also trying to increase how much water he drinks. We are quite lucky with Lily in that she will happily drink water so one thing I’m doing is to not have alternatives in the house – if we don’t have other options then we will all enjoy water with our dinners too rather than juices or soft drinks *I have a terrible Dr Pepper habit*
Our Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Charge 2 – Scott has the Fitbit Blaze and I treated myself to the Charge 2 and we are converts. They are fast becoming our favourite gadgets – personally I love to see how many steps I’ve taken, I find the guided breathing really helpful for moments when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, and knowing how many calories I’ve burned helps me work out my best options for meals. I have set my daily step goal at 10,000 steps and It’s been surprisingly difficult for me to achieve this every day. I have to admit, when I first got it I thought it would be easy, but 10,000 steps equals roughly 5 miles and as I work from home and am pretty much tied to my laptop from 8am-6pm, 5 miles a day can be quite hard to achieve. As much as I say that – it has encouraged me to get up and move about more frequently; even if just to go refill my water bottle or to walk home from the supermarket instead of jumping a bus! I love the Fitbit app on my phone too, especially as it gives me updates on how close I am to achieving my daily goals and I’ve found this a great tool to help motivate me. Scott runs everyday and so uses it to track the distance he’s run, the calories he’s burnt and to create new goals for himself.
Swiss Army Knife I’ll let you guess who keeps this essential in his pocket at all times?! As much as I rib him about his EDC kit (that’s everyday carry for those of you not prepping for the zombie apocalypse!) the things he keeps in it genuinely do come in handy – from his Swiss Army knife *it has a bottle opener AND a corkscrew*, to the torch *blackout’s be gone* and even the plasters *new shoe blisters are a nightmare!*. Of course he didn’t design his kit around my wearing uncomfortable but super pretty shoes, or my fondness for a bottle of beer but the things he carries around sure do come in handy for me too!
Our Phones – Scott has a Samsung S7 Edge (and so did I until I got mugged on the tube back in November!) but at the moment I’m using a temporary one which is an old work Samsung and it’s driving me mad! I don’t have the cash to replace it at the moment *plus EE are being spectacularly shite* but I’m hoping to get a new phone this year sometime. I hate that my temporary phone has a rubbish camera; it means I’m having to use our tablet or my big camera every time I want to take a decent quality photo and that’s not exactly practical for when out and about!
Reading Books – We are all keen readers, a trait that I’m really pleased has been passed on to Lily. We read with her every night and I love that she’s started getting into chapter books recently too. Scott reads a lot of novels and comic books and books on things such as psychology and survival and I tend to read a really varied lot of books – from interior design, to history, to chick-lit and cookery books. I don’t think our home would feel like home without our pretty substantial collection! Tied into this is my Kindle – I rarely leave the house without it as it means I always have something to read without the need to carry a bulky book around all day! At the moment I’m reading Amy Schumer ‘The Girl with the lower back tattoo’ and ‘GoneGod World’ by R.E Vance who I met at a book club meeting last summer.
Music and our Juicebar – We listen to a LOT of music and love having it playing in the background whilst we go about our day. It’s invigorating listening to music first thing in the morning, when we are all shuffling about like the undead *see coffee* but it’s also relaxing to pop on a playlist in the evening whilst we chill out and relax (or more likely play Playstation for him and spend hours on Pinterest for me!)
Our Breville Blend Active Blender – Scott has a morning smoothie and a post-workout smoothie everyday, I like to make ‘milkshakes’ for Lily with frozen fruit and coconut milk, and I love a green smoothie for an afternoon pick me up (although I don’t drink them enough!) and so ours gets a lot of use. This is another piece of kitchen kit that I want to upgrade this year as it’s definitely seen better days. Not sure whether to stick with the same model or go for a NutriBullet or alternative?
Dettol Antibacterial Wipes – There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get all the housework done that I want to do and so when I’m in a hurry I like to be able to give the kitchen surfaces and sink a wipe down with one of these – makes me feel as though the place is a bit cleaner when I’m in too much of a hurry to give it a proper scrub! They are also great for cleaning up spills that would otherwise get sticky, or even for wiping down a leather sofa or the dining table after dinner – handy when you have kids!
Porridge Oats – There’s no better way to start the day than with a big bowl of warm porridge – in the winter I top mine with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of cinnamon, in the summer I add fresh berries or make overnight oats using porridge with greek yoghurt and frozen fruit! Super tasty and full of energy. Scott often adds them to his protein shakes or smoothies for some extra carbs too.
There’s a little snippet of our daily life for you – what are your family essentials?